During his Angelus address on November 1, Pope Benedict XVI said the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls remind the faithful that everyone is called to holiness, and that God is man’s ultimate destiny.
According to AsiaNews, the Pope asked Catholics to see the Church as more than just a human institution. He invited them to “look at the Church, not in its temporal aspects marked by human weakness, but as Christ willed it, as ‘the communion of saints.’”
These feasts give us the opportunity to raise our eyes “from the realities of this world marked by time” up to “the dimensions of God, the dimensions of eternity and holiness,” he said.
We should look to the saints, “who, through their different walks of life, show us different paths to holiness, united by a common denominator: to follow Christ and adhere to Him, the ultimate goal of our human life. In fact, all states of life may become, by the action of grace and with the commitment and perseverance of each one of us, a path to sanctification. ”
He went on to say that today’s commemoration of All Souls is a time to remember our loved ones who have left us, as well as “all the souls on their way to the fullness of life, on the horizon of the Heavenly Church . . .”
From the earliest days of Christianity, “the Church on earth, recognizing the communion of the whole mystical body of Jesus Christ, has honored the memory of the dead with great respect and paid suffrage to them,” he explained.
Our prayer for the dead is not only useful but necessary, he said, because it not only can help souls, “but at the same time renders effective their intercession on our behalf.”
He added: “Even a visit to the cemetery, which represents bonds of affection with those who loved us in this life, reminds us that we all tend to another life beyond death. Tears, the result of earthy detachment, will not prevail on the certainty of the resurrection, the hope of reaching the bliss of eternity, the supreme moment of satisfaction, in which totality embraces us and we embrace totality. The object of our hope is rejoicing in the presence of God in eternity. ”
The Pope concluded his remarks by entrusting both “our pilgrimage to the homeland of Heaven,” as well as that of our “dead brothers and sisters,” to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, Queen of All Saints.
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In Praying with the Saints for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, author Susan Tassone gives compelling examples from the lives of the Saints on the power of prayer for the poor souls in Purgatory. You won’t be able to put it down!